QuickLinks - Digital content
QuickLinks - Digital content
Issue no. 370 - 3 December 2006
- US - Second Life is not overhyped
Second Life, the three-dimensional virtual world, has been getting tons of press lately. In the software, which anyone can download for free, you travel around as an "avatar", through a huge range of spaces - beautiful natural environments, shopping malls, museums, clubs, homes, apartments and cities. So far, it's signed up 1.3 million members. Is it a game? No. Is it a marketing opportunity? Yes, but who cares? What matters most is that it may point to the future of the Net, says Fortune's David Kirkpatrick.
Issue no. 368 - 15 October 2006
- Calling all critics
The Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice, published by OUP, is looking for bright, enthusiastic volunteers to review some of the titles that the journal is receiving. The journal also reviews blogs, articles in other journals - even films. If you'd like to be considered for a review, email Jeremy and tell him, in brief, what your areas of interest or expertise are. He'll pass all serious responses on to the Review editor, Phill Johnson, who handles the allocation of reviews in person. If you are an author or publisher and want JIPLP to review your book, read the details .
- Music online: new content and services for the digital age
Viviane Reding, Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media, 1st Music Publishers' EU Congress, Brussels, 3rd October 2006
Issue no. 367 - 23 September 2006
- Journal Nature Opens Peer-Reviw Process to Comments Online
From the Wall Street Journal: 'Nature, one of the world's most prestigious scientific research journals, has embarked on an experiment of its own. In addition to having articles subjected to peer reviews, the 136-year-old journal is trying out a new system for authors who agree to participate: posting the paper online and inviting scientists in the field to submit comments praising - or poking holes -- in it.' more about the project.
- State of Play Academy Launches
Free Classes on Online Dispute Resolution and Copyright in State of Play Academy! State of Play Academy, New York Law School's new virtual world law teaching academy, beta launches this week. Our aim is to: 1) democratize law teaching by making it available to an open audience; and 2) understand how teaching and learning can most effectively be done within a three-dimensional, immersive and social online environment like a virtual world.
- Geofilter sollen Einkünfte von TV-Anbietern retten
Immer mehr US-Fernsehsender stellen ihre Sendungen kostenlos online. Um sich das Lizenzgeschäft mit lokalen und internationalen Sendern nicht kaputt zu machen, setzen sie darum mehr und mehr auf Geofiltering, um Kunden einzelner Partner oder aus bestimmten Ländern auszusperren. Der konservative US-Sender Fox etwa sperrt seit Ende August Zuschauer, die nicht aus den USA kommen, vom Zugang auf kostenlose Downloads aus.
- Google opens up 200 years of news
Web giant Google is further expanding its online empire with the launch of the Google News Archive Search. The web-based tool allows users to explore existing digitised newspaper articles spanning the last 200 years and more recent online content. People using the search are shown results from both free and subscription-based news outlets. Partners in the project include the New York Times and the Guardian.
- TV embraces the online clip age
Millions of us are now sharing and watching home-made videos on the web. Audiences do not just want to watch TV shows any more. They want to make and star in them too. Dubbed web 2.0, there has been an explosion in sites that promote freedom to share and use content driven by the user.
Issue no. 366 - 3 September 2006
- EU - Commission calls on Member States to contribute to the European digital library
The European Commission has urged EU Member States to set up large-scale digitisation facilities, so as to accelerate the process of getting Europe's cultural heritage on line via the European digital library. In a Recommendation on digitisation and digital preservation, it calls on Member States to act in various areas, ranging from copyright questions to the systematic preservation of digital content in order to ensure long term access to the material.
- US - University of California joins Google's book-scanning project
The University of California is joining Google's book-scanning project, throwing the weight of another 100 academic libraries behind an ambitious venture that is under legal attack for alleged copyright infringement. The deal covers all the libraries in UC's 10-campus system, marking the biggest expansion of Google's effort to convert millions of library books into digital form since authors and publishers' groups sued last autumn.
- Can German engineering fix Wikipedia?
An experiment planned for the online encyclopedia could be a blueprint for improved accuracy. Because nearly anyone can edit just about any of the more than 2 million Wikipedia articles in 229 national versions and have those edits instantly appear, malicious edits of an article so that it contains obscenity or fiction have been one of the more serious problems Wikipedia has faced. A new feature being tested by for the German version of Wikipedia is designed as a way to protect articles from being vandalized.
- Computers write news at Thomson
A US news service has found a way to replace human beings in the newsroom and is instead using computers to write some of its stories. Thomson Financial, the business information group, has been using computers to generate some stories and is so pleased with the results that it plans to expand the practice.The computers work so fast that an earnings story can be released within 0.3 seconds of the company making results public.
- Google: These books are free
Google Book Search now offers PDF files of scanned books that can be downloaded and printed for free. The PDFs are offered only for those books that fall into the public domain and are intended for personal use. A book's availability depends on the country from which the user is accessing the site. Google blocks users from works that are not yet in the public domain for their country.
Issue no. 365 - 15 August 2006
- EU - Making Europe's online content market more competitive
A public consultation on ways to stimulate the growth of a true EU single market for online digital content, such as films, music and games, has been launched by the European Commission. The Commission intends to encourage the development of innovative business models and to promote the cross-border delivery of diverse online content services. It is also keen to ascertain how European technologies and devices can be successful in the creative online content markets. Input to this consultation will help shape a Commission Communication on Content Online, due to be adopted at the end of the year. The deadline for replies is 13 October 2006. The deadline for replies to the content online consultation - which is open to industry, in particular content and internet service providers, consumer organisations, in particular from the Internet community, regulators and all interested parties - is 13 October 2006.
- UK - BT announces movie download deal
BT has signed a deal with Universal Pictures that will enable broadband users to download movies on the same day as their DVD release. The deal is similar to deals Universal already has in place with DVD rental company Lovefilm and UK website Wippit.
Issue no. 364 - 7 July 2006
- Creative destruction in the library
The normal mechanism is that scientists offer the fruits of their research -often bankrolled by the taxpayer - for nothing to publishers. Those publishers then charge money to people who wish to read their journals. Publishers have been making handsome profits from this arrangement. But change is afoot. Open-access publishing, in which papers are freely available immediately upon publication, is sweeping the dusty corridors. The catch is that the sponsors of research will have to fork out more money to pay for it.
- UK - Royal Society tries open access
Britain's Royal Society dipped a cautious toe into the waters of open access publishing, allowing authors whose papers are accepted by any of its seven journals to pay a fee and have their work made freely available on the web.
Issue no. 363 - 25 June 2006
- FR - Ouverture de Geoportail.fr pour voir la France d'en haut
L'Institut géographique national ouvre son service Geoportail, qui permet aux internautes de visionner des photos aériennes du territoire français avec une précision de 50 centimètres. Un rival de Google Earth à l'échelle française, riche de quelque 400.000 clichés aériens, qui lui servent tous les cinq ans à réaliser «la photographie de la France», et de 3.688 cartes topographiques. Pour le moment en 2D, la navigation devrait passer en 3D d'ici à la fin de l'année.
- Growing Wikipedia revises its 'anyone can edit' policy
(New York Times)
Wikipedia is the online encyclopedia that 'anyone can edit.' Unless you want to edit the entries on Albert Einstein, human rights in China or Christina Aguilera. Wikipedia's come-one, come-all invitation to write and edit articles, and the surprisingly successful results, have captured the public imagination. But it is not the experiment in freewheeling collective creativity it might seem to be, because maintaining so much openness inevitably involves some tradeoffs.
- How to make 80 million friends and influence people
Social networking is a new internet revolution being joined by hundreds of thousands every day. It has sparked an explosion of sites like Bebo and Facebook where users generate the content - creating their own space online.
Issue no. 362 - 11 June 2006
- OECD - Digital Content Strategies and policies
The summary of the OECD - Italy MIT Conference on the Future Digital Economy: Digital Content Creation, Distribution and Access is now online. See also the presentations, slides and webstreams of the meeting and the OECD study on Digital Content Strategies and policies. As complement to the Rome conference, this study identifies and discusses six groups of business and public policy issues and illustrates these with existing and potential OECD Digital Content Policies;
Issue no. 361 - 23 May 2006
- Scan This Book!
(New York Times)
When Google announced in December 2004 that it would digitally scan the books of five major research libraries to make their contents searchable, the promise of a universal library was resurrected.
- Scientific papers on internet making impact: study
Scientific papers freely available on the internet make a bigger impact than many people realise, according to a new study available on the online Science and Development Network. The findings will strengthen calls for more online scientific journals to switch to the open-access model and make research freely available. The author of the study, Gunther Eysenbach, a health policy specialist at the University of Toronto in Canada, and editor of the open-access Journal of Medical Internet Research, concludes that "open-access is likely to benefit science by accelerating dissemination and uptake of research findings".
Issue no. 359 - 9 May 2006
- FR - Chirac unveils his grand plan to restore French pride
The French president, Jacques Chirac, has unveiled what he hopes will be his great legacy to France's struggle against the global dominance of the US: he will provide 2bn (£1.4bn) in funding for a series of innovative grands projets, including a Franco-German search engine to compete with Google and Yahoo!. Named Quaero - Latin for "I search" - the search engine aims to be the first to efficiently sort through audio, images and video.
- UK - The BBC 2.0
The BBC lays out ambitious plans for its future online. See also Rivals criticise BBC's strategy (BBC).
- US - Scholarly journals resist offering online versions
(New York Times)
Scholarly publishing could take a financial hit if a proposed federal law is enacted, opening taxpayer-financed research to the public, according to some critics in academic institutions. The Federal Research Public Access Act of 2006, proposed by Senators Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, and John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, would require 11 government agencies to publish online any articles that contained research financed with federal grants.
Issue no. 358 - 21 April 2006
- EU - Commission study addresses Europe's scientific publication system
The European Commission has published a study which examines the scientific publication system in Europe. The report, drawn up for the Commission by a panel of experts, makes a number of recommendations for future action, including improving access to publicly-funded research. All interested parties are invited to send feedback on the report's findings to the Commission, to provide input for a conference on scientific publication to be held in autumn 2006. see also Brussels delivers blow to Reed Elsevier (Guardian)
- EU - High Level Expert Group on Digital Libraries meets
After having spelled out the Commission's plans for a European Digital Library at the beginning of this month, Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding today chaired the first meeting of the High Level Expert Group on Digital Libraries. The group will advise the Commission on how to tackle key challenges in making Europe's cultural heritage available online. The group discussed the Commission's vision for the European Digital Library and set up a framework for future discussions. The group also had a first exchange of views on copyright issues.
Issue no. 357 - 26 March 2006
- Accord pour une bibliothèque numérique francophone
Les bibliothèques nationales de six pays ou régions francophones ont adopté le principe de la constitution d'une bibliothèque numérique en langue française. La Belgique, le Canada, la France, le Luxembourg, le Québec et la Suisse se sont engagés à ne pas donner d'exclusivité d'accès aux futures collections numériques à un moteur de recherche.
- Digital media 'empowering users'
A differnt mantra is replacing 'content is king' as the new slogan of the media industry, delegates at a London conference on new media have been told. As more media become increasingly available in digital formats, and traditional models of media packaging and distribution start to unravel, 'the customer is king' is fast becoming the industry's new catchphrase.
- EU - European Digital Library
The European Commission's plan to promote digital access to Europe's heritage is rapidly taking shape. At least six million books, documents and other cultural works will be made available to anyone with a Web connection through the European Digital Library over the next five years. In order to boost European digitisation efforts, the Commission will co-fund the creation of a Europe-wide network of digitisation centres. The Commission will also address, in a series of policy documents, the issue of the appropriate framework for intellectual property rights protection in the context of digital libraries. By the end of 2006, the European Digital Library should encompass full collaboration among the national libraries in the EU. In the years thereafter, this collaboration is to be expanded to archives and museums. Two million books, films, photographs, manuscripts, and other cultural works will be accessible through the European Digital Library by 2008. see also The European Digital Library : Frequently Asked Questions.
- EU - High Level Expert Group on Digital Libraries named
A High Level Group on the European Digital Library will meet for the first time on 27 March 2006 and will be chaired by Commissioner Reding. It will bring together major stakeholders from industry and cultural institutions. The group's task is to advise the Commission on how to best address the organisational, legal and technical challenges of digital libraries at European level and also to contribute to a shared strategic vision for European digital libraries. The group will address issues such as public-private collaboration for digitisation and copyrights. The names of the 20 Members of the European Commission's High Level Group have now been been made public. see also EU-Kommission ruft Bibliotheksrat ins Leben (Heise).
- EU - Kommission entwirft "Content Online"-Strategie
Die EU-Kommission will unter dem Aufhänger "Content Online" bis zur Mitte des Jahres Handlungsvorschläge und Empfehlungen für nationale Gesetzgeber in den Bereichen Musik, Film und digitale Bibliothek aufstellen. Ein Schwerpunkt dabei wird die weitere Harmonisierung des Urheberrechts sowie die bessere Bekämpfung illegaler Kopien sein. Dies kündigte Martin Selmayr, Sprecher der Kommission im Bereich Informationsgesellschaft, auf einer Diskussionsrunde der Gesellschaft zum Studium strukturpolitischer Fragen in Berlin an. Das Strategiepapier soll ihm zufolge eine effektivere Umsetzung des inzwischen "doch recht umfangreicheren Korpus" zum geistigen Eigentum auf EU-Ebene ermöglichen.
- Internet means end for media barons, says Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch has sounded the death knell for the era of the media baron, comparing today's internet pioneers with explorers such as Christopher Columbus and John Cabot and hailing the arrival of a 'second great age of discovery'.
- Wikipedia study 'fatally flawed'
A study on the accuracy of the free online resource Wikipedia by the prestigious journal Nature has been described as 'fatally flawed'. Encyclopaedia Britannica has hit back at the findings, calling for the paper to be retracted.
Issue no. 356 - 27 February 2006
- Frustrated author? Publish yourself
The technology to self-publish, using print-on-demand facilities, has been around for years but is now getting cheaper and easier with the publisher doing everything from the ISBN number to placing your tome on Amazon.
Issue no. 355 - 5 February 2006
- OECD Conference on the Future Digital Economy
The OECD held a two day conference ( 30-31 January 2006) in Rome on 'The Future of Digital Economy - Digital Content Creation, Distribution and Access' with over 350 participants from companies, lobby groups, NGOs and governments. These stakeholders debated the issue and discussed how government policy should respond to the change in content production, delivery and use.
Issue no. 354 - 31 January 2006
- EU - Reding urges 'change in mentality'
In a speech in Munich, Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding has called for reforms and optimism, for better rewards for innovation, faster networks and more high-quality content. Commissioner Reding said the most important step to take for Europeans if they want to catch up with globalisation was a 'change in mentality', which included being more positive about other EU countries and also about the state of the European economy. The three core challenges for Europe's ICT and media industry: Ensure that European innovations - such as the World Wide Web, mp3 and Linux - are rewarded in Europe and not mainly abroad; Further enhance high-speed networks based, for instance, on fibre-optics, to provide high-quality 'always-on' services; Create an EU-wide Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regime with uniform rules and a single licence for all of the EU, in order to encourage the creation of more online content. A Triple Play for Europe, Digital Lifestyle Day 2006, Munich, 23 January 2006 by Viviane Reding. Member of the European Commission responsible for Information Society and Media.
- UN - Understanding Knowledge Societies
This UN study on the construction of knowledge societies puts forward 'the idea that if societies desire to follow the path of knowledge-based growth and development, a very thorough reconstruction of their institutions must occur. It suggests to political leaders, public administrations and the public at large that a broad, well-informed debate about this institutional shift should be undertaken.
Issue no. 353 - 15 January 2006
- FR - La Bibliothèque numérique européenne avance à petits pas
Un comité de pilotage du projet de la bibliothèque numérique européenne (BNE) s'est réuni mercredi 11 janvier. Pour la France, la BNE doit être ouverte avant la fin du premier trimestre 2006. La France compte sur l'arrivée de plusieurs pays européens dans le projet pour créer un fonds bibliothécaire européen à proprement parler.
Issue no. 352 - 18 December 2005
- Social-Bookmarking: A Delicious New Web Idea - Forbes.com
Yahoo!'s acquisition of social-bookmarking site Del.icio.us is a sign that large portal companies are catching on to the fact that users don't mind a little help deciding what to read. Social bookmarking and social content sites rely on the opinions of users to determine what Web sites are most worth reading. Del.icio.us allows users to 'tag' their favorite Web content and share those tags with others. And Del.icio.us is not alone; a host of other social-networking sites are stepping up to take on the challenge.
- Wikipedia's open-source label conundrum
The online encyclopedia Wikipedia is often referred to as an 'open-source' project because it is written, edited and policed by a global group of volunteers. However, the open-source label doesn't really fit Wikipedia. 'Free-for-all,' in fact, may be a better match. see also Wikipedia prankster confesses (Seattle Times) and Wikipedia bans anonymous contributors to prevent libel (Guardian).
- FR - L'INA et la BNF prêts pour archiver l'internet
La Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF) et l'Institut national de l'audiovisuel (INA), déjà chargés de constituer la mémoire nationale classique, se verront confier la nouvelle mission de la mise en place d'un dépôt légal pour les sites internet français. Le texte leur laissera trois ans pour installer progressivement leurs solutions. Les deux organismes n'ont pas attendu que le calendrier législatif soit défini pour commencer à travailler sur le sujet. En accord avec les pouvoirs publics, ils ont convenu de se partager la tâche, comme ils le font actuellement pour le dépôt légal classique.
- US - A juggernaut called MySpace.com
From a small base of musicians creating pages to showcase their bands, MySpace.com rapidly morphed into the dominant force in online social networking. By offering users the capability to build highly personalized, techno-charged pages, it overtook its competitors - reportedly without a penny spent on promotion. MySpace has 41 million registered users and ranks 19th on the list of most-visited Internet sites. That makes MySpace the prime gateway to marketing's dream demographic: 14- to 30-year-olds. see also Rivals try to sing along with MySpace (CNET News.com).
Issue no. 349 - 27 November 2005
- Special Issue: Global Flow of Information
The International Journal of Communications Law and Policy and the Yale Journal of Law and Technology are happy to present this section on Global Flow of Information. The selected papers may be considered as the best attempt to explore the emerging patterns of information flow, and their political, economic, social, and cultural consequences.
Issue no. 348 - 13 November 2005
- EU - Adoption of a Unesco Convention on Cultural Diversity
On 20 October 2005 the Unesco General Conference adopted the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, which was negotiated jointly by the European Commission, on behalf of the Community, and the Council Presidency, on behalf of the Member States. The Convention is the first of its kind in international relations, as it enshrines a consensus that the international community has never before reached on a variety of guiding principles and concepts related to cultural diversity. This text forms the basis of a new pillar of world governance in cultural matters. see also UNESCO overwhelmingly approves cultural diversity treaty (ICSTD)
- Google restarts online books plan
Google is resuming its controversial project to digitise millions of books and make them searchable on the net. The search giant is pressing ahead with its plans despite growing legal pressure from publishers and authors. They object to what they say are violations of copyright. But in an apparent attempt to reassure critics, the search giant said on its blog that it would focus on books that were out of print or in the public domain.
- Media Literacy
The Westminster Media Forum held an half-day seminar at Millbank Tower in London. Media literacy is defined by Ofcom as "the ability to access, understand and create communications in a variety of contexts".
- Microsoft joins book search plan
Microsoft has joined a Yahoo-backed effort to digitise the world's books and other works to make them searchable and accessible to anyone online. The software giant said it would work with the Open Content Alliance (OCA), set up by the Internet Archive, to initially put 150,000 works online.
Issue no. 347 - 19 October 2005
- EU - Luxembourg hosts European Library Conference
Luxembourg has hosted the 19th annual conference of the national libraries of Europe. The Secretary of State for culture, Higher Education and Research, Octavie Modert, presided over the event - the Conference of European National Librarians (CENL). This year, the conference was organized by the national Library of Luxembourg and was held on September 29 - 30 in the Abbaye du Neumünster.
Links to news items about legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, particularly those relating to information content, and market and technology.
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- a free newsletter appearing approximately every two to three weeks. The newsletter is distributed by electronic mail through an "announcement only" mailing list.
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